ALEX SMITH Staff Writer
Coming into college as a freshman can be a stressful situation, but for twin brothers Malik and Tariq, it was easier having each other by their side.
Malik and Tariq are natives of Roswell, Georgia and graduated from Roswell High School in 2015.
“In tenth grade we got invited to a camp, to come up and play here. A week or two after the camp, Coach Neely reached out to us. He said that he was interested and thought that we had a future here. That’s really when I got motivated, and thought that I had a chance at playing at the next level,” said Malik.
The brothers have been playing together since eighth grade and have always played on the same team, so when the recruiting process started, they had to decide if they wanted to continue playing together.
“That was one thing that was kinda awkward for us when we were deciding because we didn’t know if we would end up at the same school. We’ve been together our whole lives and didn’t know what it would be like if we went to different schools,” said Tariq.
Off the court, the two are also in the same major, part of what made Piedmont such a good fit for them.
“Our parents were always supportive of us, and athletically it was the best fit for us. It was also a great fit with the dual degree major with Georgia Tech in engineering. At that point it was a no brainer for us.”
Malik and Tariq both have great personal goals for the season.
“I would like my individual numbers to go up, but ultimately the main goal is to get a conference championship. Basketball is one of the few banners that doesn’t have a conference championship, so that is one of my goals,” said Malik.
“My goal is to help the team more on the court. I feel like I have helped a lot off the court, and now I am trying to produce more on the court,” said Tariq.
On the court, they play different positions.
“I play more of a power forward which is usually playing at the top of the key on our offense, and my brother is usually playing center, down low doing all the dirty work under the basket,” said Tariq.
Adjusting freshman year was a bit of a rude awakening in the classroom.
“It was an adjustment to actually have to start studying. In high school, you kinda breeze through it. I think I cracked open my books like once outside of high school. Then I get to college, and I am having to put in two hours every day minimum just to maintain all of my classes,” said Malik.
“I had to adjust to being more responsible for your work. I feel like in high school I had a bunch of people telling me to get stuff done, and when I came to college it was all on me. My professors weren’t reminding me to turn papers in, my mom and dad weren’t there to tell me I needed to get something done, it was on me to get it done,” said Tariq.
While being a twin can be fun, there are upsides and downsides for both of the guys.
“The best part is always having someone to share experiences with. When you score your first career basket, you don’t have to tell your brother about it, because he was there giving you a high five. The worst, we are ultra-competitive, especially with each other, so sometimes we go at each other in practices,” said Malik.
“The worst part is people thinking that we are the same person. The best part was coming in freshman year having at least one person that I already knew. It didn’t matter if a single person liked me, because I had my brother and my brother’s gonna like me,” said Tariq.
As a freshman, Malik saw time in six contests this season, totaled 21 minutes, averaging 3.5 per game. His field goal percentage was 66.7% from the floor, he was 2-2 on free throws this season, he contributed five rebounds and two blocks for the Lions and his highest scoring game was four points against Lagrange College.
Tariq saw action in two games this season and made a total of two points against Toccoa Falls College.
Both brothers are looking forward to another great season as they step on the court for their sophomore year.